The 'READY, SET, GO!' Concept

HazardCall - An Ongoing Conversation

Days from an impactful weather event, the National Weather Service starts a process of communicating with HazardCall to let us know there is an impending threat.  We have built into the service a step-by-step communication process where we ask customers to let us notify them often days in advance of an impending threat.  This is entirely unique in the world of weather products available to the consumer, and makes your communities stand out as a leader.


READY: We tell your residents if there is an NWS defined threat up to a day in advance in the case of dangerous thunderstorms, by monitoring the Storm Prediction Center.  They outline daily risk areas of severe thunderstorm and tornado threat.  When that risk area reaches a threshold determined by HazardCall, we will let people know that there is a chance for dangerous storms in the next day or so.  This helps them to start to think about what they would do.


SET:  NWS has issued a 'Watch' for a particular weather event, and we put your residents on notice that they need to be ready to act quickly if they ramp up that watch to a warning.


GO!: This means that the weather threat is about to occur, and we make suggestions to your residents as to what they should do to maintain their safety.  We also inform them when they need to act quickly; sometimes in seconds!

'Watch' versus 'Warning'

The most misunderstood concept in all of the National Weather Service advisory and alerting process is the difference between a WATCH and a WARNING.  Let's make it simple.


A weather-type WATCH:  The atmosphere is establishing the conditions where a certain weather event is possible in the upcoming hours or days.  A Tornado Watch is issued when, for example, 1-18 hours before tornadic storms could start developing.  A Hurricane Watch is issued when hurricane conditions are possible in 36-48 hours.  The type of weather event determines how much time is needed for people to make plans to act.


A weather-type WARNING is issued when those conditions are imminent, or have been detected and cause a definite threat to a specific location.  A Tornado Warning, for example, is issued when radar or a storm spotter has indicated a developing tornado.  These warnings can provide little 'lead-time' at times, all the way up to 45 or 60 minutes.  A Hurricane Warning is issued when hurricane conditions are likely within 24-36 hours.  In both cases, people need to start to act, often times quickly, to protect themselves.